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How to Make a Labor Day Weekend Road Trip Safe, Affordable, and Fun

Young Attractive Friends with car in desert

Three-day weekends beg for doing something out of the ordinary. This Labor Day, make your long weekend even more exciting by planning a fun road trip with the help of our guide.

Tip #1: Get Your Car Checked Out

Making sure your car is road-worthy is always a good idea before loading up on your mileage. Many garages will offer a deal to check out your car before a road trip and this will include a brake inspection, oil change (if you need one), topping off of all fluids, and a tire pressure check. If you’re planning on going the distance, go a little further by setting up a maintenance inspection beforehand. That way, you won’t have to worry about breaking down or delaying the fun due to an avoidable mishap with your car.

Tip #2: Clean Your Car

Carrying around extra stuff is a sure way to ruin your gas mileage. In fact, shedding 100 pounds from your car can improve your gas mileage by 1%. Over the course of a long trip, this can add up.  Plus, no one wants to be stuck in a cluttered or dirty car for an extended amount of time.

Tip #3: Save Even More on Gas

One way to save on gas is with ride sharing apps. Another is changing your driving habits. Some ways to do this are:

  • Use cruise control. This can save you about $0.08 to $0.25 per gallon.
  • Keep your cargo inside your vehicle instead of using a roof rack.
  • Turn off your car if you’re stuck in traffic to save gas wasted on idling.
  • Stay as close to 50 MPH as you can. Every 5 mph increase over 50 mph can cost you $0.18 more per gallon.

Tip #4: Plan Your Pit Stops

You don’t have to weigh down your free spirit with too many plans, but taking a glance at the map and planning stops ahead of time will help you break up the trip and make sure you don’t run out of fuel—for your car or you and your passengers. Which segways nicely to our next tip…

Tip #5: Bring Extra Supplies

An extra tank of gas, additional food and water, and of course, lots of music and games can save the day if you get stuck in traffic, lost, or find yourself held up by a car malfunction.

Tip #6: Check Your Insurance

If you’re taking your car on a long trip or are renting a vehicle, it’s smart to check and see what your policy covers. That’s because the longer you’re on the road, the more likely it is for something bad to happen to your car. Maybe now is the time to add glass coverage in case a rock cracks your windshield. Perhaps upping your rental car coverage is something you want to do. Also checking your deductible to make sure it’s something you can afford to pay if you file a claim is a good thing to do. Once you know all of this, you’ll be able to get going on your road trip without any doubts or worries. 


Tip #7: Get Roadside Assistance

AAA or roadside assistance programs through your insurance agency can be life savers if you get into trouble on the road. Since the average cost of towing a car is $50-$100 flat and then $3-$5 per mile, this could add up to $200 for a 20 mile tow. If you’re covered with a plan, you won’t waste stress or money if you need help. 

Tip #8: Don’t Forget the Entertainment

Don’t rely on upbeat conversation for the whole trip. With all the driving and sightseeing, you might need a pick-me-up on the road. Packing the car with playlists and games can make the trip go by faster and keep everyone in a happy mood. Here are some ideas for fun games you can try and crowd-pleasing playlists.  

Before you hit the open road this Labor Day weekend, make sure you set yourself up for success by following our tips. That way, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun you have planned for three whole days of work-free bliss.

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